Chocolate, chocolate, chocolateeeee! Who doesn’t love this wonderful food?! I personally think it should be its own food group!!! During the holidays it can be difficult to avoid all these tasty foods so I thought why not make a little chocolate snack that can also have some health benefits to leave you feeling guilt-free!
Some of the health benefits of this holiday bark include:
- Dark chocolate — great antioxidant (including: flavonoids and polyphenols) that help protect the body against free radicles and control cholesterol, respectively
- Rich source of iron + magnesium + manganese + copper
- Tightens the blood vessel walls (aka. Endothelium) — helps regulate blood pressure and blood flow
- Decrease LDL (aka. Bad cholesterol) and raises HDL (aka. Good cholesterol) — can help lower the risk of heart disease
- Coconut oil — a rich source of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA). MCFA are easier to digest + are an immediate source of energy + not as readily stored as fat as the liver will convert it to a quick energy source
- Rich source of saturated fatty acids — help increase HDL and decrease LDL
- Anti-bacterial + anti-fungal + anti-viral
- Great energy source for brain cells (aka. Neurons)
- Help prevent insulin resistance by getting sugar (aka. Glucose) into the cell for use
Adaptogens are all the craze these days!! If you haven’t heard about them before let me be the first to tell you!!
Adaptogens are herbs that help the body deal with stress to make you feel like a better version of yourself. Adaptogens help to prevent fatigue and sleep disturbances + help the overall function of the immune system.
Some of my favorite adaptogens include:
- Rhodiola rosea (arctic rose) — uses the root for its phenylpropanoids (including: salidroside, rosavin, rosin) to reduce adrenal fatigue
- Withania somnifera (ashwaghanda) — uses the root for its steroidal saponins + lactones to help the body cope with stress
- Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng) — uses the root for its phenylpropanoid glycosides to increase mental and physical endurance
Adaptogens are super wonderful herbs, I encourage you to incorporate them into your daily life, as they are fairly safe herbs (but always consult with a medical practitioner to know what is best for you!).
Finally the toppings!!
- Walnuts — rich source of omega 3 fatty acids + manganese + copper + molybdenum + biotin, great antioxidant, good source of arginine (essential amino acid)
- Cranberries — great antioxidant with vitamin A + C
- Pumpkin seeds — rich source of zinc + magnesium + manganese + phosphorus + copper, great antioxidant, source of fibre + omega 3
Here is the super quick and easy recipe for holiday bark!
Note: If you don’t have all the adaptogens feel free to add more of one or omit it from the recipe, regardless you will be getting a healthier sweet treat to help stomp all the cravings!
- 1 C dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp white chocolate
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp ashwaghanda powder
- 1 tsp rhodiola powder
- 1 tsp eleuthro powder
- ¼ C dried cranberries (chopped)
- ¼ C walnuts (chopped)
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp cacao nibs
- pinch of salt
- Melt the dark chocolate (in the microwave or a double boiler) + add 1 tbsp coconut oil and stir until smooth
- Add ashwaghanda, rhodiola + eleuthro powder to the melted dark chocolate and whisk
- Spread the chocolate + adaptogen mixture onto wax paper (that’s on cookie sheet or plate) until ½ cm thick
- Sprinkle cranberries + walnuts + pumpkin seeds onto chocolate
- Melt white chocolate + add 1 tsp coconut oil and drizzle over the bark
- Top with cacao nips + salt
- Place bark in the freezer for at least 15 mins
- Break into pieces
- Store in the freezer